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A Ditty A Day

A DITTY A DAY…

Happy Herby alligator
Found a girl but didn’t date her
When he looked around for her
She’d turned into a gator purse.

Okay, so it’s hardly Shakespeare; it came from out of nowhere and I decided to use it.
Do you ever do that? Sit at the computer knowing you have to write something and there’s just this blank wall between you and the screen?
Well, here is a little trick.

Release the Genie Within

If you are simply writing something for your blog, or whatever, and it doesn’t necessarily need to be a work of genius but it does need to be something someone will want to read and, hopefully, be helpful in some way, then unleash your mind and allow it to swim about a bit.
Humming is good; get a ditty rhythm going in your head like, Hap_py Her_by All_ig_ator.
W
hen that came to me the second line followed on naturally. The third and fourth lines were also easy  –  if not particularly inspired. But it doesn’t matter; the fact is, it helped my inner writer’s motor turn over and got me pounding the keys.
If you try this you may end up deleting most of what you have written but that’s not the point – what is important is that it got you started when you thought you had nothing to say. And isn’t it amazing – when your fingers do start moving, all sorts of ideas begin to fly around in your mind and, before you know it, you have almost completed a piece of writing that wasn’t even a tiny glimmer when you sat down and rested your fingers on your keyboard.

Rewriting

Rewriting is going to be needed no matter what brilliant piece you come up with so how you got moving becomes irrelevant. What does matter is that you did start and you did achieve something.
So have a go – string a few words together and, if you are really stuck and nothing comes, try humming the first line of an existing rhyme; maybe one you learned when you were six or eight or 18.
How about, `There was a young man named Jack,  who stood on a very sharp tack…’ or, this, `Penny Potter found a trotter.’
It doesn’t even need to make sense, it’s just a little key to unlock your mind and free the creative genie inside your head.
Margaret Atwood said, “If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.”

She is right. So go ahead, be surprised  – and don’t forget to compromise!

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